What is Cupping?
While most people have a general idea of what acupuncture is, cupping still remains a mystery to most. There’s no denying that once Olympian Michael Phelps showed up to the 2016 Summer Games covered in round bruises, google searches for cupping surged. There’s a general curiosity around why someone would get cupping and what it can do for you.
Cupping is one of the oldest forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in fact, the earliest form of cupping dates back to the 4th century. Cupping is essentially the reverse of a massage where instead of pushing down on the muscles and tissues, the cups create a suction to pull the muscles up into the cups, releasing the tight fascia underneath the layer of muscle.
Does it hurt?
There are different styles of cupping. Sometimes the cups are firmly placed on the back where they will remain for about 10-15 minutes. Most people feel tightness but no pain and once they cups are removed the muscles feel much more relaxed. Another style of cupping is called sliding cupping. With sliding cupping, oil is applied to the skin and the cups are put on slightly looser than with stationary cupping and are then slowly slid around the back. The amount of intensity is individually determined by the practitioner to adjust to the patient’s comfort level.
What does it help with?
The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure). Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pain, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, a cough, and even cellulite. Generally, cupping is combined with acupuncture in one treatment, but it can also be used alone.
What about the bruises it leaves?
The iconic marks that cupping leaves are part of the therapy. These marks are harmless and are essentially just like a hickey. They typically fade within 3-7 days of the treatment, but occasionally can last closer to 10 days. Usually the tighter the muscles are, the darker the marks are. After a few consecutive sessions of cupping, most people will no longer get the dark purple marks and will have marks that look more like a sunburn. This happens once we have released the majority of the stagnation/tightness in the muscle.
Can I come in just for cupping?
Yes, we are the only cupping-only studio in Eden Prairie! Both our acupuncturist and our massage therapist are trained in the classic style of fire cupping and are available to book cupping-only sessions with.
Can I add cupping onto my massage or acupuncture session?
Yes, to add on cupping for your massage is an extra $20. Cupping is often included in your acupuncture session depending on the condition we are treating but if you want additional time with cupping, you can also add that on to the acupuncture session for an additional $20.
Ready to get started or have questions about our cupping therapy? Please call us at 952-277-9975 or schedule directly online.